Category Archives: Nutrition

Commissioner’s Update – December 18, 2014

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE has contracted one of the state’s foremost learning technology leaders to help schools as they prepare to administer Maine’s first-ever statewide online assessment this spring.

Andy Wallace will work with the Department to develop technology related resources and provide support to schools to ensure they are ready to successfully administer the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).

Wallace is currently the technology director for the South Portland School Department and will continue in that role while also working with the Department on a seven month contract. He brings more than 14 years of experience as a technology director in both rural and urban school districts to the Department assignment, and was recently named the 2014 Administrator of the Year by the Maine Association of School Librarians.

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Please note: This is the final issue of the Commissioner’s Update for 2014 as State Offices will be closed for holidays on Thursday, Dec. 25 and Thursday, Jan. 1. All of us at the Maine DOE send warm wishes to you and your school communities for a happy holiday season and we look forward to continuing to serve you in 2015. Please expect to receive the December Maine DOE Monthly on Tuesday, Dec. 30 and the next weekly Commissioner’s Update on Thursday, Jan. 8.


Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Maine DOE releases scheduling guidance for new State assessment

To support district and school testing coordinators in their planning for the spring 2015 administration of the Maine Educational Assessment in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy, the Maine DOE has posted scheduling guidelines on the assessment section of its website. | More

Clarification of public preschool program requirements

The Maine DOE has received many inquiries from school district personnel seeking clarification on the public preschool legislation passed last spring. | More

Maine DOE provides resources to help schools keep students safe

In light of several high profile incidents in Maine involving threats to schools, the Department is reminding districts of the many resources it has already available to support schools in their ongoing efforts to keep students safe. | More

Maine joins New England states to create common system for reporting on educational performance

A consortium of states including Maine has released two years of reports created under a first of its kind regional common data project. | More

Certification of superintendent election or reelection

The Maine DOE is reminding administrators and school board members of the approaching deadline for annual certification of employment of Superintendent of Schools. | More

Maine students put STEM skills to the test at FIRST LEGO League Championship

Hundreds of Maine students from Kittery to Frenchville came together last weekend to compete at the 15th Annual FIRST LEGO League Championship, run by Maine Robotics and held at the Augusta Civic Center. | More

Annual gifted and talented program applications past due

The Department is reminding school district administrators that their 2014-15 annual applications for gifted and talented program approval were due on Dec. 5. | More

Department encourages early summer food program planning

The Maine DOE is encouraging districts to begin planning now for their Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Department encourages early summer food program planning

The Maine DOE is encouraging districts to begin planning now for their Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

Under Maine law, a school administrative unit (SAU) must offer meals through the SFSP if it has 50 percent or more of its students qualifying for free and reduced school meals and it operates a summer education or recreation program.

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Commissioner’s Update – December 11, 2014

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine Department of Education has been awarded $14.8 million to expand public preschool opportunities in 10 counties.

Over the next four years, the Department will pass 95 percent of the funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to 13 school districts with high percentages of low-income students so they can establish or expand preschool programs in partnership with local early childhood program providers.

In total, 33 new classrooms will be created with the funding and most will open next September, adding to Maine’s existing 205 classrooms serving 4-year-old students. Another 23 classrooms already in operation will be expanded so students can attend five days a week for the full day. With up to 16 students per preschool classroom, the award can potentially allow access to early childhood education to more than 500 additional Maine children.

Participating districts include Lewiston, Millinocket, Sanford, Westbrook, SAD 58 (Phillips, Strong and Kingfield) and RSU 3 (Brooks, Liberty, Monroe and Unity), 12 (Chelsea and Somerville), 13 (Rockland), 37 (Addison, Harrington and Milbridge), 39 (Limestone), 49 (Albion and Clinton), 53 (Pittsfield) and 74 (Anson, North Anson and Solon).

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Maine DOE launches web resources for assessment

The Maine DOE has launched a new section on its website with resources related to the new online Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy as well as a portal developed by its vendor for assessment administration. | More

Maine DOE offers regional assessment administration workshops

The Maine DOE is offering four regional workshops in January to support school districts as they prepare for the spring administration of the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy. | More

Maine DOE releases resources to support new educator evaluation system development

The Maine DOE has released new online resources to support school administrative units (SAUs) in designing and implementing Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems. | More

Student art submissions sought for MLTI screensaver contest

The Maine DOE is seeking artwork created by students to feature next year on the screensavers of the thousands of devices it provides to Maine schools through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). | More

Cooking with USDA Foods webinar on Dec. 18

School food service professionals are encouraged to register for the webinar K-12 Cooking with USDA Foods with White House Champions of Change chefs Garrett Berdan, Carlin Breinig and Cyndie Story on Dec. 18. | More

Maine schools receive funds to purchase local foods from local farmers

Projects in RSU 18 and Downeast Maine have been awarded funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to bring more food grown by local farmers to students. | More

Students invited to do service projects to benefit Toys for Tots

Maine schools are invited to engage students in service to others through the 2014 Joy Maker Challenge this holiday season. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Maine schools receive funds to purchase local foods from local farmers

Projects in RSU 18 and Downeast Maine have been awarded funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to bring more food grown by local farmers to students.

RSU 18 will receive $44,213 through the USDA’s Farm to School grant program, and Healthy Acadia will receive $100,000.

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Cooking with USDA Foods webinar on Dec. 18

School food service professionals are encouraged to register for the webinar K-12 Cooking with USDA Foods with White House Champions of Change chefs Garrett Berdan, Carlin Breinig and Cyndie Story on Dec. 18.

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Guidance provided for monthly food service reimbursement claims, training offered

The Maine DOE Child Nutrition team is reminding school districts to complete all steps below in NEO to file their food service monthly claim for reimbursement.  Continue reading

Tips for promoting school breakfast programs

The Maine DOE’s Child Nutrition Services Team is offering tips for schools looking to grow their breakfast programs.

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Commissioner’s Update – November 13, 2014

From the Maine Department of Education

We know many readers look forward to our weekly Commissioner’s Update, specifically for the column from Commissioner Jim Rier, whose insight on education has come from nearly two decades in Augusta, first as a member of the State Board of Education and since 2003 here at the Department.

That’s why we wanted to let you know that Commissioner Rier is out indefinitely on leave, though he remains in close communication with us. The Commissioner is proud of the progress the Department has made to better support schools in preparing all Maine students for college and career success.

In his absence, Governor LePage has appointed Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome to serve as Acting Commissioner. Acting Commissioner Tome has been at Maine DOE for a decade, first as a School Improvement Specialist and most recently as Chief Academic Officer.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Districts reminded of importance of maintaining accurate student enrollment data in DC system

The Maine DOE is reminding districts of the importance of maintaining accurate student enrollment data in the new Direct Cert (DC) system due to its integration with State Infinite Campus. | More

Nominees sought for educators effectively engaging families

Nominations are now open for the 2015 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Award, which will honor an exemplary teacher engaging families in education. | More

Guidance provided on preventing school laboratory incidents

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) recently released a safety bulletin based on three recent serious incidents where children were burned while observing school laboratory demonstrations involving flammable liquid methanol. | More

High school students invited to apply for research fellowships at MDI Biological Laboratory

The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory is now accepting applications for exceptional high school students interested in a laboratory research experience at MDI Biological Laboratory in the summer of 2015. | More

Districts reminder of school food sale guidelines

As a reminder, all food sales to students in schools must meet the Smart Snacks Guidelines as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Districts reminded of importance of maintaining accurate student enrollment data in DC system

The Maine DOE is reminding districts of the importance of maintaining accurate student enrollment data in the new Direct Cert (DC) system due to its integration with State Infinite Campus. In particular, when a student is transferred to another district, they may not show as eligible on a Direct Cert list if the transferring school fails to report the transfer to the State in a timely manner.

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Districts reminder of school food sale guidelines

As a reminder, all food sales to students in schools must meet the Smart Snacks Guidelines as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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